Sunday, September 17, 2017

Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins

I know it's still another 4 days until fall, but I have zucchini that's ready now. I decided it was time to break out the pumpkin recipes. I made this recipe twice (rather than doubling), but the second time, I forgot the baking powder and baking just turned out really dense but I guess it's all for me since I wouldn't share it with anyone else--too embarrassing. Oh darn lol. ;)

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Bread

It's that time of year. Between the months of July-September, I post all the latest zucchini recipe finds that I can come up with. Even after all that, I still end up with a freezer full of shredded and chopped squash. We are blessed to have such a lush garden. This is a great twist on traditional banana bread and with the chocolate chips, you could probably get the kids to eat it.

Chicken Avocado Lime Soup

The hubby bought a bag of limes last week, so I've had to figure out what to do with them. Although margaritas come to mind, I decided to first (re-)make Salsa Verde (Green Chili), then made Green Chili Breakfast Burrito Casserole and tonight Chicken Avocado Lime Soup. I added black beans, corn, and green chili.  I served it with tortillas, sour cream and shredded cheese. Definitely a good one for a cold night. :)

Salsa Verde (Green Chili)

I used a couple of different recipes just for spice options, but this recipe is almost entirely mine. This is our first year growing a variety of peppers. One day, the hubby brought in hatch, serano, tomatillo and a couple more I can't remember. So I decided to just roast it all (for 20 minutes at 400 degrees) and throw it in the food processor. I added lime juice, a bit of salt, cumin and onions; next time I might add cilantro. The hubby said it was the BEST green chili he's EVER had. :) It was also nice and easy for me to not have to separate the peppers. I ended up using it for Green Chili Breakfast Burritos and Chicken Avocado Lime Soup.


Green Chili Breakfast Burrito Casserole

The second round of peppers came in from the garden and the request was for breakfast burritos with green chili for dinner. I loosely used the recipe below for guidance. I used ham instead of sausage, and added tomatoes and mushrooms. Served with homemade salsa, guac, shredded cheese and sour cream. According to the hubby, I could make this over and over and he'd never get tired of it. I'd say it was a success :)

Friday, September 15, 2017

Pichuberry and Blueberry Flaugnarde

Tonight was a 2-for-1 special on learning cool new foods and desserts.

1. The hubby bought "Golden Berries" (at Sprouts), also known as "Cape Gooseberries", also known as "Pichuberries"--grown in Columbia. Of course I looked at Pinterest and found a new french dessert that I couldn't pronounce.  Again, google helped me with that one--Flaugnarde. Not only is it fun to say, it's EASY and delicious! There is a strawberry version that I would try if he bought them again. Note when buying them from the store, get 2 containers (=2 cups). I used a deep dish pie plate, but now have a good excuse to shop for a (1 piece) tart pan. :)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pinwheels

I don't like to waste food, and I had some extra tortillas to use up. We had a BBQ with friends so I decided to use them as my pinwheel guinea pigs. There are literally hundreds of pinwheel ideas on pinterest and I might end up making several more in the next couple of weeks, but this was a good starter, especially for a crowd. I actually had a hard time sharing because they were so delicious. I used the advice of the reviews and used 1/4 of a dry ranch packet instead of liquid ranch dressing. Also used larger shredded sharp cheddar cheese, but it didn't seem to affect the flavor (maybe even improved it). Hoping to try/blog more soon!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Baked Potato Soup

The potatoes are starting to come in from the garden! I was craving baked potato soup, so I found this recipe on Pinterest. I used it loosely and probably didn't really need a recipe, but it was a nice reference point. I often review several recipes for the same dish to see what I want to incorporate into mine. I ended up adding peas (also from the garden), shredded cheeses (leftover Queso, Sharp Cheddar and Mexican blends), cream of mushroom, fresh mushrooms, salt and pepper, omitted the butter, flour and heavy cream, and doubled the sour cream. Of course the hubby had to add Franks ;) So delicious!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Crockpot Taco Chili with ground Yak meat

A couple of weeks ago I hosted a get-together with a baked potato bar. I'm a big fan of chili on things--baked potato, hot dogs, fritos and even cinnamon rolls. :) Our neighbors at Deja Moo Farms raise and sell yak which is a deliciously lean alternative to beef. I decided to make taco chili which turned out to be a super duper idea. This was definitely a recipe that needed a slow, all day simmer in the crockpot to get all the flavors to meld together. I could make it every week, it was so yummy.

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

It's the month of Zucchini and I always get excited to see what Pinterest has for me each year. I literally started with the first and have been working my way down. This is a different version than the one I did last year (which had sour cream), but by far, my favorite way to "sneak" zucchini into a recipe. I ended up adding walnuts for the PERFECT brownie. I could probably make this one every week--but it's a tough one to share and calories aren't my friend. :)

Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Bread

It's the month of Zucchini and I always get excited to see what Pinterest has for me each year. I literally started with the first and have been working my way down. This was one of my favorites. I even forgot to put in baking powder and baking soda the first time, but still enjoyed the zingy, albeit dense, bread. If you ask me, there is nothing like the flavor of blueberries and lemon in a sweet bread. I'm planning to try it again this weekend, because, of course, I have much more zucchini to experiment with. [You know it's a good one when the neighbors make it too ;) ]

Cheesy Chicken Zucchini Casserole

It's the month of Zucchini and I always get excited to see what Pinterest has for me each year. I literally started with the first and have been working my way down. Per the hubby's request, I added chicken as well as little bit of kale for more color/vitamins. This was definitely a keeper "comfort food". :)

Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini Bread

It's the month of Zucchini and I always get excited to see what Pinterest has for me each year. I literally started with the first and have been working my way down. This was a fun one. I ended up using my mini loaf pan to serve as individual mini breads. It had a coffee-cake taste to it. I think next time I'll add walnuts. Another scrumptious recipe. So far no throw aways this year. :)

Butterscotch Zucchini Brownies

It's the month of Zucchini and I always get excited to see what Pinterest has for me each year. I literally started with the first and have been working my way down. This one turned out more like a cake for me. It didn't take away from the sinfully delicious flavor though. The hubby gobbled it up and I was tempted to make more, but so many recipes, so little time. ;)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Stuffed Hungarian Wax Peppers

Today was a big harvest day which included a handful of Hungarian Wax peppers. This was our first year growing them, so I perused Pinterest for ideas. I ended up just going for the first recipe that popped up. So glad I did. Wax peppers have a different, milder flavor, but were good when combined with the ingredients in this recipe. I didn't have farmer's or ricotta cheese, so I used shredded queso. I think next time I'll use goat cheese. This one would be fun for a party, combined with jalpenos for a pretty yellow and green plate of poppers.

Rhubarb Barbeque Sauce

I decided to use the other 20 stalks of rhubarb that my neighbor friend gave me to make something different. The bread was good, but I came across this recipe for BBQ sauce on Pinterest. I cooked it in the crockpot all day so it could thicken up. Then I used the immersion blender to puree it. Taste test--everyone in the house said "Wow!". This stuff is amazing! It turned out really spicy; I think between black pepper, cayenne, and jalepenos, it packed a big kick. I can't wait to get our hogs back from processing so I can make some pulled pork and add it to a sandwich. [I had to cut the recipe in half. The full recipe would likely take 40 stalks. It yielded 2 pints.]

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Balsalmic Chicken with Mushrooms and Thyme

Tonight was a simple but flavor-packed recipe. I actually used chicken thighs, Balsamic-Soy, dried parsley and thyme from the garden and cooked some rice in the rice cooker. It was a delicious "just right" healthy meal.

Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles

This is probably the shortest ingredient list I've ever seen in a recipe--2! Actually, I added an extra ingredient because I only had plain greek yogurt. I used a few tablespoons of strawberry preserves and thawed out some frozen strawberries I had from the last sale. The hubby inspired me to buy Popsicle molds on Amazon after I discovered he had a pop-ice addiction and watching him buy creamsicles over and over at the store. The first popsicles I made were leftover Red White and Blue Cheesecake Salad. I just put it in the blender and then poured into the molds. HUGE hit with the hubby and now has set a precedent for our freezer stock ;)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Instant Pot Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

Unfortunately, we don't have our own pork yet...just a few more weeks. This one came from Sprouts, but it turned out good. I browned it in the electric pressure cooker, then added brussel sprouts, onions and sweet potatoes. The sauce was amazing--sort of a sweet and tangy combination. The bonus was that we discovered brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes are MEANT for this recipe! Wow! So yummy and healthy and done in 45 minutes. :)

Lemon Basil Chicken

I was so excited to make this recipe. We harvested lemon basil from the garden for the first time. I used this recipe, added kale instead of spinach and ended up using chicken thighs instead of breasts. I paired it with cheesy broccoli rice (at the hubby's request). This was one of the most flavorful pan recipes we've had in a while. Definitely keeping lemon basil in the repertoire.

Carrot Zucchini Apple Bread

My dear neighbor and friend posted this recipe to my wall and I decided to make it for our women's group yesterday. I used zucchini from the garden and some apples and carrots I had in the fridge. I ended up adding orange extract to the cream cheese frosting and sprinkled it with pecans. This was probably one of the best sweet breads I've ever made and eaten. Needless to say, it was a big hit with the group. Thankfully, this recipe made 2 loaves so the hubby had a chance to eat some too :)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Flourless Chocolate Cake (Gluten Free with the option of Dairy Free)

I had the honor of being asked to make a neighbor friend a gluten-free birthday cake for her. I was a little nervous as this was my first g-free cake. I was pleasantly surprised with the results, but then again, ganache makes everything better. ;) I opted for real butter, used semi-sweet chocolate chips, dark chocolate cocoa, sugar (rather than honey) and sweetened chocolate almond milk (for the ganache). Really pleased with the results. I didn't really need to change it at all, other than, due to altitude (6400ft), I had to cook it about 10 minutes longer. I got the thumbs up from the neighbor and her family/friends. Thank you Pinterest!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Honey Garlic Chicken Stir Fry (Pressure Cooker)

I very loosely followed this recipe. I forgot the ketchup and sesame oil, opted for black pepper rather than red pepper flakes, added orange juice, used arrowroot instead of cornstarch, and added orange cauliflower, carrots, green beans, celery, green onions after browning the chicken. I also added a little bit of chicken broth. I used a rice cooker for the rice. The flavor was incredible! And the sauce thickened up nicely under pressure in 12 minutes. Again, a practically effortless, thumbs up meal!

Breakfast Casserole (Pressure Cooker)

As I remodel my kitchen, and forgo the stove, I'm getting to know my electric pressure cooker intimately. Yesterday, I finally used the browning feature for the sausage in my breakfast casserole. It was amazing! I added the onions to carmelize, then when it seemed ready, I added the egg mixture and battened down the hatch. I have an 8 quart cooker, so I ended up using a dozen eggs and 3 lbs of sausage (2 bkfst, 1 spicy). Since it was larger than the actual recipe, My cook time ended up being 30 minutes. Since I don't have a trivet yet or an extra bowl to put inside the cooker, my edges were browned. "That's the best part" according to the hubby. :) It was a fun comfort food meal that felt effortless and allowed me to continue working on the remodel. The great thing is that it doesn't heat up the house and only required about 45 minutes of electricity. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Apple Butter (Crockpot)

A friend of ours up the road "Yellow Transparent" apples for sale so I bought a box. Yellow Transparents don't have a long shelf life, so I had to prepare them right away. I ended up making applesauce, apple butter and apple pie filling. For those who like a tart apple, this one is ranked 10/10. I really enjoyed the flavor, but I feel I need to make people who try it aware of the tartness. Overall fun and easy to make.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Purple Cauliflower Pizza Crust

The hubby bought purple cauliflower so I wanted to do something special. I found a Pinterest recipe for a cauliflower crust with goat cheese added. I topped it with steak cubes, onions and mushrooms. It turned out super yummy but I will probably not add salt to anything to mellow it out. Definitely will be making again...maybe with orange cauliflower next time :)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sausage plait (English Sausage Roll)

I was so excited to have the opportunity to make these! I was invited to ladies tea by our darling neighbor and I've been watching the Great British Baking Show Master Class on Netflix. I was admittedly nervous since the only "pastry" thing I've ever made is a pie crust. I used the link below as a guide, but followed the instructions on the Netflix episode almost to the letter. The only thing that is difficult to find in America is Black Pudding. I think I'll order it on Amazon for the freezer, should I decide I want to create another traditional British treat.  This time, I'm actually posting my own picture rather than from the link. :)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Banana Poke Cake

Once again, I had pudding boxes that were nearing expiration, so I "had" to come up with something. This happened to be banana pudding and I really enjoy poke cakes, so I whipped up this pan of yumminess yesterday. It takes about 4 stages to prepare (with lots of cooling and chilling), so make sure, if you're planning to serve it to a group, that you have plenty of time. Also, a trick to extend the life of this cake is to serve the bananas separately, slicing them for each individual bowl more as a garnish. That way, you don't end up with brown bananas in your cake and it can seem fresh for several days. In this particular case, I crushed animal crackers and vanilla wafers. I had to restrain myself from eating the entire pan. :D

Monday, July 3, 2017

Beet and Russian Kale with Goat cheese

Let the games begin. Daily, we've been harvesting lettuce for awesome salads. However, today was Russian Kale day. We've had too much, I had to use Pinterest to decide what to do. I actually used 2 different recipes (see previous post). I had beets to use up, so I just chopped and boiled, but kept the skins on. My goat cheese had gotten too soft, so I froze it before crumbling. I absolutely love goat cheese! This is one dish you should not skip/skimp on goat cheese. The russian kale is light and goes well with beets. I recommend preparing this a couple of hours in advance and chilling, however, room temparture was delicious as well. I think if we end up with more russian kale, I will be making this one again. Very easy to prepare. :)

Red Russian Kale with Garlic and Lemon

Let the games begin. Daily, we've been harvesting lettuce for awesome salads. However, today was Russian Kale day. We've had too much, I had to use Pinterest to decide what to do. I actually used 2 different recipes (see next post). Jason loves a similar dish with chards, so I replicated it with Russian Kale. I added mushrooms and red onions as per our usual. It was very nice. Not as pungent as chards. A very tolerable super food. :)

Sunday, July 2, 2017

4th of July Pig Roast Menu

Yesterday was an "Epic" day of celebration with the neighbors. We used one of our York pigs for a Kalua Style Pig roast. Since it was our first time, we can look back at lessons learned, the biggest being a pig that should have been about 100 pounds lighter. She took many more hours to cook than anticipated. Nonetheless, we had a great time full of food, fireworks and fun.

1. White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese

2. Macaroni Salad

3. Saffron Rice

4. Carolina Coleslaw

5. Baked Beans

6. Potato Salad

7. Green Beans

8. Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

9. Pineapple Upside-down Cupcakes

10. Red White and Blue Cheesecake Salad

11. Old Glory Berry Pie

12. Red White and Blueberries

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Steak Fries wrapped with Flank Steak

I came across this recipe on Facebook and couldn't wait to try it. I modified it using potato wedges (quartered potatoes) baked for 45 minutes at 400 degrees. While the potatoes were cooking, the steak was marinating. I love this particular recipe because the dijon mustard and rosemary created a really nice flavor. I used my grinder to make a powder out of the rosemary, added garlic and also used part spicy sweet mustard and part dijon. I turned up the temperature to 425 degrees and cooked and additional 20 minutes. It tasted amazing and not too time-consuming. :)

Chicken Broccoli Shells and Cheese

This was definitely as good as it looked. The teenager coined the term "gravy cheese"--I mean, who doesn't love cheesy gravy?! We had some friends over for dinner, so I ended up doubling the recipe. I also accidentally pulled out chicken thighs instead of breasts, and unsure if they would like the combo, I cooked the chicken seperately. Served with salad and corn-on-the-cob, it was a big hit. Definitely an easy one to prepare and worth the effort.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Pressure Cooker Taco Pie

Last night was all about crunch time and comfort food. I saw this recipe on facebook and couldn't wait to try it. I think next time I'll use tostadas or chips. Overall this was a very good recipe, but I could tell it would have been better baked to crispy in the oven. The boys topped it with homemade salsa, lettuce and sour cream, so it was really more like an open-face burrito. Again, only 5 minutes for the pressure cooker to heat up and pressurize and 10 minutes to cook. I think in the future, I'll start keeping pre-browned meat in the freezer to make it even faster.

Pressure Cooker Lasagna

Time to catch up on blogs for the week....The temperature has been up in the 90's and our home doesn't have AC--yet. I think I'm now addicted to my electric pressure cooker because all the things I've made this week have taken 10 minutes or less. No heating up the house, no heavy consumption of electricity, amazing meals that can be ready very quickly. I have to admit on this one though, It took me longer to prepare than to cook. (mainly because I had to brown the meat, mix the cheese combo and put in the layers. It was definitely worth it! Delicious lasagna in the heat of summer-cool!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Seafood in the Electric Pressure Cooker

The days are getting longer which means the hubby is outside until sundown. It makes it challenging to plan the dinner timing. This week he wants his meals to be lean so I used my electric pressure cooker for trout and shrimp. It takes the cooker about 5 minutes to "warm up" and then 5 minutes to cook the fish. I used the water and lemon juice per instruction, but went with garlic, dill, salt, pepper, and a little bit of butter. Paired with rice and a salad, it was the fastest meal I think I've ever prepared. I'm must say, I'm in love with my pressure cooker, especially when it's 94 degrees.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

1 Hour Cinnamon Rolls

I am so thrilled that my first attempt at cinnamon rolls was a success. It's all due to one of my favorite Facebook pages Eazy Peazy Mealz. Thanks to her diligence and research, I was able to bake with ease. I don't think I'll have to search anywhere else for my (new) go-to recipe. The only caveat, is that I rolled my dough fairly thin, so I had smaller rolls. I ended up making 40 rolls! Good think I had good "testers".

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Honey Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

I had leftover chicken that was seasoned with McCormick "Smokehouse Maple" and wanted a quick and easy recipe that also used the broccoli I had in the fridge. I recently upgraded my Wok, so I decided it was time to break it in. :) I ended up adding red pepper, celery, sesame oil and extra soy sauce. The honey was the perfect ingredient for this wonderful stir fry. I also used the rice cooker for Jasmine rice. This one had very little leftover--gobbled up with seconds and thirds. ;)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dip

Need a go to for parties? This is a great quickie to "whip" up. I used mini vanilla wafers and animal cookies for the dip. When you use the stand mixer and whisk attachment on high, you can take the cream cheese right out of the fridge throw it in the bowl with the other ingredients (minus the chocolate chips) you'll have cookie dip in 2-3 minutes! So addicting--another dam in the clean eating river....;)

Feta and Vegetable Rotini Salad

I never know what to do with rainbow rotini, but I think a found a winner on Pinterest. I omitted the olives and added bacon. It passed the hubby's inspection--thumb's up. :)